top of page

~ Rebuilding The Roof ~

Due to the Poor Roof Design, I Redesigned it From Scratch

All content on this site is copyrighted property, and may not be copied or reproduced without permission

"You always pass failure on the way to success"

Time to move up! Up we go and dig into the roof. I'll show you a better way to design it than flat.

This chapter outlines completely redesigning and rebuilding the roof from scratch. The factory design was destined for failure while it was still on paper, before it ever hit the production line. They must have had some new amateur plan it. They did not consider that this unit would spend time outside in the rain... I happen to know that water flows downhill. Evidently, they couldn't grasp that very simple concept.

After 7 months of hard work, spending virtually every single minute of my spare time, I was finally able to pick up where I left off last when I put the ceiling and soft spot on the floor aside: The roof! Now I can see the end of the project in sight. The old roof only had a pair of 1X2's down the middle at the top for slope. There was no support on top of the rafters to prevent the roof skin from being caved in when people walk on it. This design flaw is what led to the majority of the leaks. The seal was broken virtually all the way around the roof skin and therefore, water entered everywhere.

I had to carefully weigh my options here. There was much careful consideration given to actually doing this. These new rafters are 4 1/2" high in the center vs the the overall 2 1/2" of the originals. My new design was flat on top for 19", then tapered down to 2 5/8", giving it 1 7/8" slope on each side. So doing the math, the new rafters weighed roughly double the originals, or an extra 62 pounds of lumber if I did my math right. Hmm - OK, I can live with that.

I carefully designed the new roof on paper first before doing any construction of them.

Click on Images to Enlarge


New Rafters:

The rafters start out as a pile of 8' KD spruce 2X6's. First, cut them all to 94.5", the width of the trailer less the 1X3 sides.


Rafter Layout:

Then mark the center, a 17" flat spot on top, notches for lateral strapping, and then the taper down to 2 1/4" at the ends


First Rafter Cut out:

There's the first one done, except for the notch out for a lateral 1X2, leaving a 14" opening in the center for vents and AC.


Finished Rafters:

And voila! A pile of new rafters ready to be notched and installed. I clamped them and ran a saw across for notches.


Birds Eye View, "Before" Pic:

Time to roll it back up and replace the framing.


Same Thing From Front:

Had to wait for good weather for this part. It rains here!


Out With The Old:

Old framing just before removal. Flat aside from the lateral 1X2's you see there.



Hows that for a large roof vent? Eat your heart out Fantastic Fan and Maxx-Air!



Note the lighting is still up there and hooked up. I used it for working after dark.


Partly Replaced:

Some new rafters are sitting in place. I marked out the locations on top of the walls.


Closer Shot Of The Front:

Rafters are just sitting there, not fastened yet. Cannot screw them down until the ceiling is in place. See the pencil marks to show the layout? Yeah, me neither! That's my daughter standing there observing her fathers insanity for taking on a project like this!


Front View:

The whole back is in place - just a few more to go to finish the front.


Closer View Of Things:

Fridge vent and micro shelf below, wiring for lights, my big foot and camera strap! Shoulda moved it... And my dear daughter too.  Birds eye view of the floor plan like you see in the brochures.


Roof Framed:

That was a good days work! All framed up and ready for ceiling panels


Roof Framed:

Note the slope from the top 1X3 runners down to the outside edge. It will never have standing water again. Lateral runners are all fastened down at the top, 1X3 edge on top of wall screwed in place. Ready for ceiling panels!


Framing From The Back:

Note the very back is unfinished. That will come later. Special curved pieces have to be framed front and back.


Closer Framing Shot:

All cabinets get screwed up into the rafters from the inside after the ceiling. They will be very secure and strong


Fridge Vent:

Have to remember to seal this up good inside. Walking up here will not be an issue. Just gotta walk on the rafters.


A/C Opening:

This ought to hold up the A/C without deflection! Everything up here is glued and screwed for strength.


Roof Framing:

Low down shot to see the pitch of the roof better. Good slope here for runoff - total of 2 1/4" per side.


Inside View Rearward:

There's that big open ventilation system again. Hope it never rains again! It would be nice to have an open clear roof


Inside View Forward:

Same as the last pic, but facing the front. That's it for todays work. Good long day, I framed the whole thing.


Bathroom Roof:

I rolled the old galvanized roof skin back out - you can see the framing detail better.  Lights are still hooked up!


Pictures For Detail:

I took lots of pics for detail, so when I put the ceiling panels in I know where all the framing is to fasten to.


Bathroom Closet:

Shot straight up, this shows the hole for one of the tank vents. Can't wait to ditch that old roof skin...


Reminder Notes:

You will see in many pictures writing on the wood. Little notes to self so I don't forget details. Blocking for vent here


Kitchen Roof:

That's the A/C opening there. I made notes and measurements where all rafter centers were, to fasten panels to.


More Location Shots:

All the ceiling panels get screwed to the top of everything with 3/4" wafer screws. Pics like this really help later so can review to ensure I don't miss any.


Document Everything:

I took lots of pics down from the top, printed them and marked  measurements of where everything is on the paper for fastening purposes.


Bathroom Door Location:

I put solid blocking under that strip above the doorway to give the hanging door track solid backing.

Design Flaw Correction:

Everything was going very well with my new roof layout. Things are fitting perfectly, it is all lining up, but....
I did, however, have to redesign part of my roof framing due to an oops on the part of the builder (me!)
Due to the pitch of the roof as I designed it, the new aluminum skin could not roll over the ends without puckering. I had to reduce the amount of pitch on the ends so that the new skin will lie flat. I have not tried it yet. I hope I have planned it right. If it doesn't work, I will be forced to go to plan B! What is plan B? I'm glad you asked.... I don't know - I'll figure it out when I get there!!

Ya gotta be able to think on the fly if your well thought out plans go sideways.


Design Flaw Correction:

I gradually sloped the last 2 rafters down to the front. I initially had the rafters all the same.


Design Flaw Correction:

A better view here. You can see the reduction in height towards the front. Hopefully this works OK.


Design Flaw Correction:

Same correction as the front. I was only able to do one rafter here due to the vent location. I wanted the vent to sit flat.


First Ceiling Panel:

Its been a long time coming - but the first ceiling panel is finally in. I measured and pre-drilled for wiring.


First Ceiling Panel:

Same thing as viewed from a little further back. Now it's really starting to look like something.


First Ceiling Panel:

Somewhere in here I stapled all the gimp mold on the top of the wall all the way around the outside.


Getting The Panels In:

Here's how I get them in - lift the roof up onto blocks, slide the panel in between the wall and the roof. Cutouts for wires etc were calculated and done first.


Gluing The Panels Up:

I used PL Premium adhesive to hold the panels in place. From the inside, I used decorative brass nails in a grid pattern. Joints are stapled, then covered.


Another Shot Of The Glue:

I made sure the panel was in place first, then left it down an inch or so, then ran the glue under every framing member.


Holding The Panels Up:

I used a couple pieces of 1X2 as temporary props while I positioned and fastened the panel.


Bathroom Ceiling:

You can see the gap while the roof is still up on blocks on top of the walls. I tacked the roof down for stability as I went.


Bathroom Ceiling:

Other corner done, now ready to drop it down on top of the walls. The whole roof is now ready to fasten down.


Front Corner Ceiling:

Aside from a few tack screws, the roof is still floating on blocks. Rafter and panel centers were marked and lined up perfectly prior to fastening. This ensures that it is perfectly straight. Mark all rafters and panels dead center. Line up


Finished Ceiling:

Ceiling done, roof is now all fastened down to the walls. Cabinets, everything fastened.


Finished Ceiling:

View towards the back. All nice, new and spiffy! I am happy with the results.

And that sums up the chapter on building a new roof. It really isn't that hard to do. Anyone can do it with a few tools, and a bit of know how and understanding, which is easily taught and learned.

Now it's time to make it weather resistant and do my best to keep it warm.

Next up, Insulation and Vapor Barrier. Charge! Let's go!

bottom of page